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Eliminating the Ministerial Exception

Written by the-supremes-276

School: The Paideia School
Class: The Supremes
Grade: 11th

The people of the United States of America would benefit if Congress amended the Americans with Disabilities Act, adding the proposed “this law shall apply to all employers, including churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, religious organizations, and religious schools”.  While this exact wording may be too blatantly pointed at religion, the general concept and idea is definitely necessary.  Congress could further discuss better wordings that provided the same end result while holding true to the original intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act.  The Americans with Disabilities Act was created to prevent discrimination on the basis of a person having a disability from happening in this country.  The Americans with Disabilities Act should apply to all citizens of the United States across all fields of work, just as all guaranteed rights in Amendments apply to all citizens.  Amending the Americans with Disabilities Act should be done in such a way that it is clear to all persons that discrimination, especially in the workplace, should and will not be tolerated by anybody.

            Even in religious professions, the ministerial exception, created to resolve conflicts between government regulation and First Amendment Freedom of Religion, is not an excuse for discrimination.  The ministerial exception is primarily so that religious employers can fire someone who they do not feel should be employed in their place of worship or who they disagree with.  Being disabled is not a valid reason to disagree with someone nor is it morally correct to discriminate against them based on their disability.

            In cases like Hosanna-Taber Church vs the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the only validation for this firing would be that due to her disability the employee cannot perform her job.  This would need to be treated like any other teacher firing, as if she taught in a public, non-religious school.  This would not be discrimination because the employer’s treatment and consideration of their employee would not be any different than if he or she was not disabled.  According to the definition of discrimination, “treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than an individual or merit” this regulated process would not be discrimination and therefore would not violate the Americans with Disabilities Act or any individual rights.  For all these reasons, Congress should seriously consider discussing this change to the Americans with Disabilities Act to better the lives of all citizens of the United States of America.



This post has been awarded the
Freedom of Religion Badge (50 points)

Harlan Institute Feedback: Very well-researched post!